Science and Technology Studies Summer School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Science and Technology Studies Summer School: Disclosing/Enclosing Knowledge in the Life Sciences

July 11-15, 2016
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison WI

Applications from students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities for a five-day summer school that will provide training in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) are invited. This seminar is an excellent opportunity for graduate students who are interested in incorporating social and humanistic perspectives on science and technology into their research, and require an advanced level introduction to the field.

A curious feature of knowledge societies is that producing more data does not always result in less uncertainty, and the circulation of information may obscure some facts even as it reveals and amplifies others. Scientists, policy-makers, ethicists, laypersons, and advocacy groups alike attempt to manage the flow of facts, techniques, and materials by sequestering, containing, or merely highlighting certain facets. Yet despite their best efforts at controlling the distribution of knowledge, there are also unanticipated leaks, diversions, and revelations. Imperatives for transparency and the ‘right to know’ may also come into direct conflict with intended ‘protections,’ as demonstrated by controversies over the sequestering of knowledge through intellectual property regimes or governmental suppression of data for political purposes. Examples and case studies from research on the paradoxes of information flow in the life sciences to introduce and illustrate some of the key approaches in STS will be used. These examples cases will span genetics, synthetic biology, newborn screening, bioinformatics, regenerative medicine and precision medicine.

Through a mix of lectures, group workshops and discussions of individual projects, participants will be exposed to core concepts and methodologies in STS. The workshop faculty will illustrate core concepts or methods with examples from their own research. These will be accompanied by in-depth discussion sessions, case study exercises, short presentations on student research projects, and a field trip. There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and participation, as well as enjoying artisanal beer and cheese on UW Madison’s lakefront.

Organizing UW Madison faculty: 

  • Linda Hogle, Medical History and Bioethics
  • Nicole Nelson, History of Science
  • Pilar Ossorio, Morgridge Institute for Research
  • Krishanu Saha, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

Guest faculty: 

  • Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University
  • Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University
  • Sergio Sismondo, Queen’s University
  • Stefan Timmermans, UCLA

For more information on the application process, please visit: http://sts.wisc.edu/disclosingenclosing/science-and-technology-studies-summer-school/

The Summer School is supported by the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and its Disclosing/Enclosing knowledge research cluster. For more information about the cluster, visit: http://sts.wisc.edu/disclosingenclosing/